Beach Teams Competing in South Africa

By BJ Evans | Dec. 09, 2014, 8:01 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 9, 2014) – Four U.S. men’s beach teams and three women’s teams will begin play in the main draw on Wednesday at the FIVB Mangaung Open in South Africa.

Skyler McCoy and Hudson Bates
   Skyler McCoy, left, and Hudson Bates go after the ball.

The United States has the top-seeded women’s team in the tournament with Kim DiCello (San Diego, Calif.) and Lane Carico (Manhattan Beach, Calif.). Theo Brunner (Ridgefield, Conn.) and Nick Lucena (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) are No. 2 among the men.

Carico and DiCello will share Pool A on the women’s side with U.S. teammates Irene Hester (Fort Worth, Texas) and Caitlin Ledoux (Phelan, Calif.), who are seeded No. 17. There is only one other team in the pool, No. 16 Diana Zolnercikova and Martina Jakubsova of Czech Republic, so each team will only play two pool play matches.

The third U.S. women’s team of Sarah Day (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Amanda Dowdy (Austin, Texas), seeded No. 21, will also compete in a three-team pool along with No. 5 Nina Grawender and Karin Lundqvist of Sweden and No. 12 Katharina Schützenhöfer and Lena Plesiutschnig of Austria.

On the men’s side, Lucena and Brunner are in Pool B with No. 15 Jan Dumek and Robert Kufa of Czech Republic, No. 18 Sean Faiga and Ariel Hilman of Israel and No. 31 Ivan Solomans and Sven Mollgaard of South Africa.

The other three U.S. men’s teams all find themselves sharing Pool D. They are No. 13 Derek Olson (Eugene, Oregon) and Stafford Slick (Andover, Minn.), No. 20 Will Montgomery (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Jeremy Casebeer (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and No. 29 Skyler McCoy (Long Beach, Calif.) and Hudson Bates (Richmond, Va.). The fourth team in the pool is Canada’s No. 4 Josh Binstock and Maverick Hatch.

McCoy and Bates lost their qualifying match on Tuesday to Australia’s Cole Durant and Casey Grice (23-25, 21-11, 15-9), but made it into the main draw as “lucky losers” thanks to another team pulling out of the tournament.

The men’s and women’s semifinal matches will be played on Saturday followed by the medal matches on Sunday.